We grow and change over the years through our teens and into adulthood. And "adulthood" is hardly a generic bucket - there are so many phases of adult life both planned and unplanned that shape us. Major life events all over the spectrum from incredible joy to heart-wrenching tragedy give us strength and perspective.
Yet at the core aren't we the same little child inside? How many people, other than immediate family or relatives, really know you this deep in your DNA?
I was going to call this post "Giggling, part Two," but I decided it needed a different name this time. I can't even describe how blessed it is to have a small group of women in my life who have known me pretty much my entire life. A 15 or 20 year gap since many of us had last seen eachother? We picked up right where we left off.
We can talk about pretty much anything in this group. And listen and learn so much. When some are up, some are down. We've all been both places and everywhere in between - we've got years under our belts and there's no need to one-up eachother on who has what or has done what. Life sprinkled on each of us differently - most of us are mere months apart in age, but our lives are so different: some of us are married with teenaged kids getting ready for high school...or have a toddler and infant. Some are divorced and single or divorced and remarried. Some of us are die-hard bachelorettes (sheepishly raising my hand here). What we have in common are our ages, the neighborhood where most of us were raised and our elementary school, junior high and high school - for the most part. And we're all still living just a city or suburb or two away from where it all happened!
We wear the badges of these decades and their unique experiences and secrets only we know - badges of history invisible to most but very, very shiny and visible within this group. Because we Know and Remember.
Thanks to the magic of Facebook and the old school magic of the telephone, five friends (plus one absolutely adorable 6 month old) got together for a mini-reunion and potluck.
These are friends where we can just look at one another and understand eachother without saying a word - although most of us are chatterboxes. I bet we could even finish eachother's sentences. For most of us the bonds go way, way back. As in Kindergarten kinds of "back." I look into our eyes and see warmth, caring and wisdom. I know that we "get" eachother and the memories from over 35 years ago and onward are still so vivid. We all pretty much look the same save for a few crinkles or grey hairs on some - and boy we've earned 'em! And so many of us have picked up on mannerisms our mothers did or do! Yes, my friends, you can't escape DNA.
We laugh about stupid and silly things we did screwing around in school. Those in the group who are parents - parents of teens - talk about what THEY have to deal with now. Texting. Facebook drama. Learning to drive. High school. Weren't WE just there a few years ago save for the texting and Facebook? Even texting and Facebook are debatable, divisive topics in this crowd; we've got some hard-core computer and technology types and others who refuse to touch a phone to text or a computer keyboard once the workday is done. And just because some have email addresses doesn't mean they'll read email. Pick up the phone already! What we DO agree on is the world is a far different place now...how did we survive walking (walking?!?) to school in small groups? How were our parents comfortable letting us cut through woodsy trail shortcuts to school? How did we ride bikes the first half of our lives without helmets?
We're really and truly REAL here. Nope, no silicone'd, tequila-soaked shrieking matches or flipping over tables in restaurants a la the Real Housewives series on Bravo (which is a total guilty pleasure, by the way).
You know it's a good evening when you just talk, eat and talktalktalk and then "all of a sudden" it's midnight. The cat makes his nocturnal debut after most of us have gone home, probably feeling a little overwhelmed by the hours of noise of girls' night and makes his mark coughing up a fur ball on the beautiful hardwood floors. Poor kitty!
We're already looking forward to next time! Hopefully we'll still be doing this pushing walkers and screaming at eachother when we're stone deaf.